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smp: does Mathematica use Lisp ?
I've asked this question and looked into it. And it turns up some things that help one understand how Evaluation and Symbols and Matching arise moreso than having read the Mathematica Book sections on "The Standard Evaluation Sequence". Is mathematica driven by lisp? No. Yet it's got ideas from it yes. You don't need to study Lisp unless you are using lisp through Run. Study Mathematica Book is all. my bookmark senses say... avoid Haskell: it's not mature, not much used, or well laid out for beginning a large project. Standard ML is worth a review as an amazing abstract language just as much as Lisp is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_ML Finally. Mathematica's inner C language, smp, is worth a quick review. It drives Mathematica's wonderful abilities of Evaluation and Symbols. Look into Mathematica's history on WR sites. They used X windows, Postscript, ideas and abilities from many languages and gui toolkits. Amazing how it all came together. But smp drives the language part. The SMP pdf can be found. What are projections?